automated mail sorting line
Mail sorting assembly line b Jason V [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
I am exercised today by the perfidy of modern life.

That whole “We can get a man on the moon, but we can’t do x.” kind of thing.

Realistically, there are billions on people on the planet and things can’t go smoothly for everyone all the time.  Well, I mean they could, but that doesn’t suit today’s anecdote.  Or probably chaos theory.

And realistically, any given transaction is equally likely to go well as to go badly.  Regardless of whether any of the contributing factors are equal or not.

But, I mean, seriously!

The short version is that a purchase I made has been “missing” in the post for about four weeks now.  There is a long and convoluted story involved, but the short version is that my order was sent to my old work address – the one I was made redundant from three and a half years ago.  Even though my most recent order was sent to my home.

A human triggered an order, which went on its automated way until it ran aground.  And modern life being what it is, humans can no longer intervene without an automated process to tell them to do so. This human pushes this button, and that human pushes that button, and I caught in the middle, rush about wringing my hands and trying to get this human to circumvent the machine, or that human to act like one and do something to help.  To no avail.

Fortunately for me, once the source of the error was identified I contacted my old workplace and found that the mailroom guy I knew hasn’t been made redundant.  And he remembered me.  So he put my package aside until I called to make arrangements for it.  Finally one human capable of independent thought.


Has this sort of thing happened to you?  Do you sometimes stop and think how insane some of the things we do now really are?


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